Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center


Research at the Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center focuses on providing the scientific understanding and technologies needed to support and implement sound management and conservation of our Nation's biological resources occurring in Hawai'i and other Pacific island locations.

Spotlight on Research

Spotlight on Research

Learn more about how researchers are tracking how rare plants are responding to changing environmental conditions.

Plant Responses

Featured Scientist

Featured Scientist

PIERC Microbiologist Dr. Carter Atkinson is using new tools to detect emerging threats and rare species in Pacific Island ecosystems.

Atkinson Research


Date published: July 9, 2020

New Study Finds the Restoration of Forests with Active Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death Infections May Be Possible

Hilo, Hawaiʻi – For the first time, researchers have shown that native ʻōhiʻa seedlings can survive for at least a year in areas that have active mortality from Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death, or ROD, a fungal disease that is devastating to this dominant and culturally important tree in Hawaiian forests. This information can be useful to land managers and homeowners as they prioritize conservation actions.

Date published: June 8, 2018

Keeping Track of "Caly"

Caly isn't likely to wonder off off, but with a remote camera and monitoring station online 24-hours a day, USGS and partners at the State of Hawai‘i Division of Forestry and Wildlife, University of Hawai‘i, and the USFWS can learn how an extremely rare plant is responding to changes in environmental conditions.


Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2020

Forest bird trends within Haleakala National Park

In 2017, the comprehensive east Maui bird surveys allowed for an update in status and evaluation of trends in bird populations within Haleakalā National Park. This report describes a finer-scale analysis of the park lands, distinguishing between the upper Kīpahulu Valley plus adjacent high-elevation areas compared to the rest of the park. I report...

Brinck, Kevin W.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2020

Habitat suitability and ecological associations of two non-native ungulate species on the Hawaiian island of Lanai

The ability to effectively manage game species for specific conservation objectives is often limited by the scientific understanding of their distribution and abundance. This is especially true in Hawai‘i where introduced game mammals are poorly studied and have low value relative to native species in other states. We modeled the habitat...

Hess, Steve C.; Fortini, Lucas; Leopold, Christina; Muise, Jacob; Sprague, Jonathan

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2020

Analysis of genomic sequence data reveals the origin and evolutionary separation of Hawaiian hoary bat populations

We examine the genetic history and population status of Hawaiian hoary bats (Lasiurus semotus), the most isolated bats on Earth, and their relationship to northern hoary bats (Lasiurus cinereus), through whole-genome analysis of single-nucleotide polymorphisms mapped to a de novo-assembled reference genome. Profiles of genomic diversity and...

Pinzari, Corinna A.; Kang, Lin; Michalak, Pawel; Jermiin, Lars S; Price, Donald K; Bonaccorso, Frank